AHFA 2020 World Cup

42: Macedonia 1-Siberia 0
Match Day: Siberia vs Macedonia
San Felipe Stadium, Leon
Attendance: 88,500

Rosters:
Siberia:
Alyosha
Matvey
68'
Nikolay
Pavel
Budimir
Pyotr (Alexey 65')
Kolya (Mikhail 83')
Stanislov
Kirill
Gischa
Avgustin (Egor 46')

Macedonia:
Saveski
Trajkovski
Aleksov
Solun
Pellas
Spasovski (Popov 83')
Attikaski
Ionski
Dardan (Rodic 83')
Kuber
Korab


Summary

0' Kickoff between Siberia and Macedonia ! Macedonia need a win to keep themselves alive in this tournament and get some air as France skyrockets in the standings !

3' Things start off bleak for Macedonia, with Stanislov exploiting the weaknesses in the Macedonian defense and manages to get a cross in. Fortunately, it finds no one.

15' A good chance for Siberia ! Kolya finds Gischa alone 20m from goal. The Siberian striker shoots but it is no big worry for Saveski who saves it.

18' Another shot by Gischa goes over the bar. Despite not having possession, the Siberians counter-attacks are having a big effect on the Macedonian defense.

27' Finally a chance for Macedonia ! Good corner on the right side taken by Pellas goes onto Aleksov's head but his attempt goes slightly over the bar.

33' Macedonia have woken up. Spasovski finds Kuber but his run his a bit short and he loses the ball before entering the box.

37' Big chance for Macedonia ! The momentum builds up as Spasovski finds Dardan all alone. The left wing dribbles two Siberian defenders but his shot is deflected by Alyosha !

40' Siberia react with a swift counter-offensive but Avgustin's shot goes wide.

42' Another corner kick for Macedonia goes over the box menacingly. The ball is repulsed into Dardan's shoes but the left wing just cannot hit the net.

45+1' Half-Time here in Leon ! No team has managed to find an advantage but Macedonia seem to be racking up some momentum. Let's see if Siberia can react in the second half.

46' Before the game restarts, Siberia make a substitution. Avgustin is off the pitch while Egor comes on.

51' Nothing much happens in these first five minutes. Macedonia have control but fail to deliver anything worthwhile from it.

54' And just as we say this...goal for Macedonia ! Korab is brought down 27 meters from goal and this gives a free kick to the Sunbursts. Dardan delivers a perfect ball to Solun who scores ! 1-0 !

60' The wind has been blown off Siberia's sails. They cannot react.

65' Another substitution for Siberia as Pyotr comes off, replaced by Alexey.

68' Frustration is showing on Siberia's side. Matvey is booked after tugging a bit too roughly on Dardan's shirt.

72' Macedonia continue going forward. Kuber attempts a shot but it goes slightly over the bar.

83' Triple substitution. Siberia remove Kolya from the pitch, replaced by Mikhail, while Macedonia bring out Spasovski and Dardan in favor of Popov and Rodic.

90+2' The final whistle is blown. Siberia haven't put up a fight after conceding the goal while Macedonia have done the bear minimums to secure their lead. Macedonia get an all important 3 points here.

Siberia 0 - 1 Macedonia
Solun (54')​

Stats:
Shots on Target: 1 - 2
Possession: 35 - 65
Yellow Cards: 1 - 0
Red Cards: 0 - 0
Man of the Match: Marjan Dardan (Macedonia)
 
Chicago AM 670 The Score, Chicago's Home for Sports Radio.
Host: Mark Esposito

Esposito: Welcome back to AM 670 the Score, your home for Sports in the Chicago area! Obviously the talk of the town, and the country as a whole has been that VAR call. I think going in if you talked to the average North Coaster, they'd say they fully supported it. This World Cup has already started to see some cracks in that backing. Does a non-egregious foul in the build-up to a goal really justify denying that goal? It's a gray area, for sure. The fact that Milan had no complaints initially certainly adds fuel to the fire for North Coasters' ire. I think more than that, though, is just that everyone knew going in that getting just a point was going to be tough. When the game got going, and the boys scored so quickly, everyone's hopes went through the roof. This was, without question, a huge opportunity to steal three points and hugely bolster our chances to get into the knockout rounds. So that definitely changed the mood for everyone watching the game. When Milan inevitably equalized, as they deserved, it reset things a bit, brought people back to Earth. But in the moments that Sargent seemed to have scored, everybody got their blood up again, and dreamed again of an upset. This of course did not last. I have to say, I thought it messed with our boys' heads a bit in the second half. They looked much less sure of themselves after that. Whatever Bradley said in the locker room did not do what he needed it to do. So that's a concern going forward for sure. With that, let's open things up to our listeners, hear what all you have to say about this topic. First up, we got James from Evanston! Welcome to the show, James.

James: Thanks for having me! First of all, big fan of the show. Second, I've gone completely sour on VAR. It takes the joy out of the game for me. Used to be scoring a goal was something you could enjoy and celebrate, but now they have to do a check and make sure it's good, and in the meantime everyone just sits there anxiously, waiting. That's not the way the game's supposed to be. Anyway, that's all I got, so I'll just hang up and listen.

Esposito: Thanks, James. That's certainly a fair point. VAR, at least the way they've decided to do it, does change the nature of the game. My point of view is that, this being the first World Cup [With VAR}, of course there are going to kinks to work out. But overall I think it's made the game better. But let's get another caller in. Matt from Kankakee, you're on the Score, welcome.

Matt: Hi Mark. In my opinion VAR is [redacted]. Everyone involved in its implementation need to be [redacted, call is cut off].

Esposito: Okaaaay. Enough for that for now. We'll be right back after a short message from our sponsors.
 
46: China 0-Viti 0
Goalkeeping heroics from Yan Jingling the highlight of the match, as China and Viti held to
0-0 draw in Chihuahua


Group H remains wide open while China's goal was closed up. The Warriors had the majority of chances and must feel that they could have gotten more from this game.

It was uncharacteristically cloudy in Chihuahua as the two sides, both on three points, took to the field for a game that I really felt either could win. China had been confidently swept aside by a Banat team after a win against Patagonia, while Viti had beaten Banat in a close match to begin their campaign. For both sides it represented an important win to secure before the challenge of facing Belgium.

It was Viti who would come bursting out, creating a series of crosses and inside runs in the first 25 minutes, while China struggled to respond. Raiwalui, in particular, stood out as he broke down repeated Chinese attacks before distributing to the wings in his position as a defensive midfielder. Despite the efforts of
Feng Jin and Hao Junmin, China looked absolutely toothless, while manager Arsene Wenger sat glumly in the technical area. Viti had studied the Chinese loss against Banat, perhaps, or perhaps China had been flattered by their win against Patagonia.

Viti's best chance of the half came as the ball was worked to Dolokoto, who placed the ball to his right, into the path of the speeding Bolawaqatabu. Clear on goal, the winger smashed it into the top left. Almost the perfect goal, but for the fingertips of Yan Jingling. A chance for China soon followed, as the Dragons caught Viti on the break from a corner. It was Raiwalui, in a Claude Makelele-esque sprint and lunge who managed to clean deny Hao-wei a chance on goal.

The second half followed in match the same fashion. Despite possesion being roughly equal, Viti was creating chances while China was not, quite simply. Jingling made several saves to deny Viti their goal, China meanwhile seemed willing to play for set pieces. Will Donkin did graze the crossbar from an impressive free-kick, but for the most part the Chinese set-pieces were no more effective than their attempts from play. Ming Tian came on for a struggling Ting-Yang, and to Wenger's credit the substitute was crucial to denying Viti numerous chances on their right flank. Viti did find other opportunities, a volley from Qera and a long-ranged effort from Nacewa both required strong goalkeeping. Viti will also regret missing several chances, most egregiously example being a 3-2 situation that resulted in Naqelavuki, with a clear shot only a few yards out, blasting the ball into the stands.

Viti's threat upfront wavered as the sides tired. China had managed to ride their luck and the game dragged out to a stalemate in the last 15 minutes. Bainimarama, Voka and Koroilavesau each received yellows as Viti showed some frustration. Dolokoto managed a last chance for Viti as a deflceted shot from Koroilavesau landed at the strikers feet, but once again, the unbeatable man-of-the-match, Yan Jingling was there to deny Viti.

Today's match was a strange one, much of the game felt, equal, and that is reflected in the possesion, 52-48 to Viti. Viti however managed to get the ball everywhere that it mattered, and despite this they, somehow, failed to score. China rode their luck indeed, now the question is, do they have enough luck left for Belgium in their final match? Viti too will face the Belgians, as well as the Patagonians, and will have felt that three points today would have made them feel much more comfortable going into those two crucial matches.
 
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43: Transylvania 1-Wales 1
Of Football, Food and Videogames
Today: Transylvania vs. Wales

Hello, my dear readers! I have some great news, today I finally had the chance to attend a World Cup match and didn’t have to wrestle with my work internet connection to watch the games. Thanks to a friend, I managed to secure a couple of tickets for the Transylvania-Wales match, which is probably the best first-round game we’ll have here in Puebla, besides the one between the Great Lakes Republic and Milan last week.

So today’s report will be a little different, as it is one thing to watch a game on your TV or laptop and another to go to the stadium, especially when the game is a World Cup one. I left work early and picked up Liz and headed for the stadium, its surroundings already abuzz with fans from both European nations.

Some Transylvanian fans were even dressed up as vampires, while their rivals sang nonstop those beautiful chants in Welsh that I, as you know, love so much. Of course, my conationals didn’t waste the opportunity to witness another World Cup game and filled the stadium, supporting Transylvania and Wales alike.

It was a great game, with both sides attacking all the time and possession equally divided between both of the teams, even though shoots on goal were a bit scarce during the first half of the game, where the most exciting thing was a dog running into the pitch and Hálasz getting booked for reminding Ramsey of his mother, or something like that, I’m not that fluent in Hungarian, specially when I have to read lips.

Second half was another story, with the Welsh almost scoring at least three times, making Kapolcs earn his pay. It was at about halfway the second half that Lingard stole the ball in midfield, and sending a magnificent pass to Rhydbrech, who just had to delicately lob the ball over Kapolcs to give the Welsh the advantage.

Wales then proceeded to fall back a bit, trying to put under lock that 1-0, also known as their first victory in the tournament. However, fate had something else in mind. When it seemed the Welsh would get their first victory, enter Kende István, who finally made the Welsh fans go silent, as he sent the ball to the back of the net with a precise header after a cross by Landau for the 1-1. Bale was so angry, claiming that the Transylvanian was offside that he earned a yellow card, poor lad.

Poor Wales, that result would’ve given them 4 points, now they’re stuck with Canada and Novorossiya with 1 point each, while the Transylvanians keep Group E's first spot, ahead of Sao Paulo by one point, who have one match less.

I think it is becoming clear who will advance in this group, but I’ll tell you more about it in my next entry. Remember that tonight, I’ll be streaming the new Animal Crossing game, which will include some World Cup flavor. Don’t miss it!

Lineups:
Transylvania: Kapolcs, Péter, Simon, Kogalniceaunu, Apród (Christmann, 78’), Halász, Dezső, Landau, Bârladeanu, Gulyás (Nostitz, 70’), István
Wales: Hydd, Roberts (Mepham, 54’), Williams, Keane, Dyfed, Iago (Vaulks, 70’), Ramsey, Allen, Lingard, Rhydbrech, Bale

Goals:
0-1 Rhydbrech, 68’
1-1 István, 86’

Yellow cards:
Transylvania: Halász, 14’, Simon, 56’
Wales: Bale, 88’
 
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45: Banat 1-Belgium 0
Match 45 - Belgium vs Banat

Banat
Roster (23 players)
Goalkeepers:
1 Dragoljub Velimirović
12 Ivan Tatarescu
23 Paul Freisler

Defenders:
2 Bogoljub Lazarević (Captain)
6 Risto Darković
15 Sergiu Ionesco
3 Vasile Barbu
22 Pataki Rajmund
14 Raoul Heidler
11 Eckhardt Hartjenstein

Midfielders:
5 Ljuba Ugljanin
10 Arsenije Živanović
20 Antonio Torje
13 Wawrzyniec Wisz
4 Calin Paler
8 Fábián Adrián
19 Gabriel Stieler

Forwards:
7 Ilija Blagojević
9 Tiberiu Stefan
16 Antonio Hurgoi
17 Szilágyi Vince
21 Kozma Benjámin
18 Paweł Garbacz
Lineup:
Goalkeeper: Dragoljub Velimirović
Defenders: Bogoljub Lazarević (Captain), Vasile Barbu, Risto Darković and Eckhardt Hartjenstein
Midfielders: Ljuba Ugljanin, Calin Paler, Fábián Adrián and Arsenije Živanović
Forwards: Ilija Blagojević and Tiberiu Stefan

Belgium
1 Thibaut Courtois - plays for Real Madrid (SP)
12 Simon Mignolet - plays for Club Républicain de Bruges (FR)
20 Anthony Moris - plays for RE Virton (BEL)

2 Toby Alderweireld - plays for Tottenham Hotspurs (ENG)
3 Thomas Meunier - plays for Club Républicain de Paris (FR)
4 Perr Schuurs - plays for Ajax (NL)
5 Laurent Jans - plays for Paderborn 07 (PFS)
14 Chris Philipps - plays for Legia Warschau (PL)
27 Stijn Wuyters- plays for AZ (NL)

6 Axel Witsel - plays for Vorwärts Dortmund (PFS)
7 Nacer Chadli - plays for RSC Anderlecht (BEL) (sent off)
10 Yannick Carasco - plays for Atlético Madrid (SP)
14 Vincent Thill - plays for Orléans (FR)
16 Hans Vanaken - plays for Club Républicain de Bruges (FR)
18 Siebe Schrijvers - plays for Club Républicain de Bruges (FR)
19 Sébastien Thill - plays for Progrès Niederkorn (BEL)

8 Dries Mertens (C) - plays for Société Generale-Sportive Parthenopéenne (FR)
9 Kevin Mirallas - plays for Club Républicain d'Anvers (FR)
11 Sam Lammers - plays for PSV (BEL)
13 Roy Beerens - plays for Vitesse Arnhem (NL)
15 Daniel Da Mota - plays for Racing Luxemburg FC (BEL)

Lineup:
Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois
Defenders: Toby Alderweireld, Thomas Meunier and Perr Schuurs
Midfielders: Axel Witsel, Nacer Chadli, Yannick Carasco and Vincent Thill
Forwards: Dries Mertens, Kevin Mirallas and Sam Lammers

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
FIRST HALF

1' The match kicks off!

6' Belgian Kevin Mirallas takes a shot but it sadly fails.
SHOTS: BANAT 0-1 BELGIUM

9' Banatian Tiberiu Stefan attempts a long-range shot but it fails.
SHOTS: BANAT 1-1 BELGIUM

19' Toby Alderweireld tackles Ilija Blagojević and he gets a yellow card.

31' Axel Witsel attempts to shoot but it does fail.
SHOTS: BANAT 1-2 BELGIUM

(Referee signals a 4-minute added time)

HALF TIME
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SECOND HALF

56' Banatian Tiberiu Stefan attempts to shoot but it fails because of a wonderful save by goalkeeper Thibaut Cortois.
SHOTS: BANAT 2-2 BELGIUM

70' GGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!! TIBERIU STEFAN HAS DONE IT!!!!!!
SHOTS: BANAT 3-2 BELGIUM
GOAL! BANAT 1-0 BELGIUM

71' The Banatian fans have just celebrated crazy! The match resumes.

83' Nacer Chadli tackles Tiberiu Stefan and he's injured. Nacer Chadli is sent off!
MEN: BANAT 11-10 BELGIUM

84' A substitution has happened for both teams:
Banat: Tiberiu Stefan off - Antonio Hurgoi on
Belgium: Sam Lammers off - Daniel Da Mota on

(Referee signals a 5 minute added time)

FULL TIME
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Goals:
Banat 1-0 Belgium
Shots:
Banat 3-2 Belgium
Possession:
Banat 50%-50% Belgium
Goal Times:
Banat: 70'

Yellow Cards:
Banat:
Belgium: Toby Alderweireld

Red Cards:
Banat:
Belgium: Nacer Chadli

Man of the Match:
Banat: Tiberiu Stefan

DING DONG!
 
48: Nova Holandia 3-Turkestan 1

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Turkestan:

Coach: Vadim Abramov

Lineup:

Stas Pokatilov

Nuralı Ălip (89' Temırlan Erlanulı)
Valery Kichin
Yehor Krimets

Arslanmırat Armaulı
Bauırjan Erbosınulı
Güljigit Alıkunulı (68' Forhod Firaydunulı)
Batur Ötkür (38' Temırxan Niyazulı)

Vitaly Lux
Vahıd Orazsahedulı
Şahrom Samulı

Nova Holanda

Coach: Hendrik van Barneveld

Lineup:

Isac Quaresma da Silva

Christian Binot
Erwin Gabriel Militão
Marcel Vieira da Silva
Edwin de Boer

Leonardo do Nascimento
(74' Jan Wever)Leendert Snijer
Simon Cruijf

Romarinho da Souza Faria
(53' Karel Winterink) Paulo Taffarel
(86' Sócrates Sampaio de Souza Vieira de Oliveira) Arthur Wilhelmus Ramos de Oliveira Melo
Turkestan 1 - 3 Nova Holanda

Goals: 1-0 Güljigit Alıkunulı (14')
1-1 Karel Winterink (54')
1-2 Simon Cruijf (72')
1-3 Arslanmırat Armaulı (86') (o.g.)


Referee: Wawrzyniec Polcyn (Miedżymorze) - Grade C+:
No decisive mistakes. It was correct to retract the penalty for Turkestan (44' - foul outside the box) and to He dished out yellow cards and set pieces too harshly. Booking Ãlip (28') is harsh, but still correct, but yellow cards for Snijer (13') and Erbosınulı (85') were not justified.

To many people's surprise - against one of the stronger teams of the group - established Turkestani striker Aibekulı was given a match on the bench to rest, despite no injuries that we know of. Rumour has it that Orazsahedulı was chosen because of his better speed, however, some media outlets are also citing a lack of discipline, possibly related to the speeding incident, on the part of Aibekulı.
On the other side, van Barneveld brought his strongest starting eleven onto the pitch.

Everyone expected dominating play and a lot of ball possession on the part of the Canaries, but it was not to be. The Golden Eagles from Central Asia pressed early on, the van Barneveld side made unusually many mistakes, and the amount of ball possession in the first minutes of the match ended up about equal, slightly better for the Abramov side. However, no real chances were created as of yet.
Until Snijer unfairly tackled Alıkunulı in a harmless position in midfield. The former was booked - too harsh - and a free kick awarded to the Golden Eagles. And it was Alıkunulı who initiated play, at first with a short pass to Armaulı. He passed to Batur Ötkür, and both Christian Binot and Leonardo do Nascimento were outrun. The cross itself did not prove dangerous, though - Vieira da Silva easily cleared it, out for a corner. Batur Ötkür brought the corner in. Chaos in the penalty box ensued, an attempt by Lux hit the post, but it was Güljigit alıkunulı who got hold of the ball quickest! He only had to put his foot in, and the ball went over the line! 1-0 Güljigit Alıkunulı (14')!

Nova Holanda was furious, but it was the Turkestani defence and midfield who controlled this match. The most dangerous situations were an excellent free kick, taken by Romarinho. His direct free kick landed in the dangerous area, but instead of a Canary, Nuralı Ălip was the fastest to get to the ball, clearing it out for a throw-in (33'). On the other side, counterattacks did make for some danger: Erwin Gabriel Militão had to clear a cross from Şahrom Samulı at the cost of a corner (20'), and after a fair, but robust tackling by Edwin de Boer (38') - Batur Ötkür was injured and had to be carried off the pitch - a free kick was awarded to Turkestan. Vitaly Lux crossed the ball into the penalty box, onto Şahrom Samulı, whose header was saved at the last moment by Isac Quaresma da Silva.

But it was another wave by the fast and determined Golden Eagles which was to prove even more dangerous. Arslanmırat Armaulı outran Christian Binot, initiating a sequence of play at the end of which Temırxan Niyazulı, from the right wing, dribbled towards the centre. And he was stopped by a robust tackle from Marcel Vieira da Silva! Polcyn, after a few seconds of deliberation, pointed to the spot - a penalty for Turkestan?
The VAR team contacted Polcyn, he showed the screen gesture, and after minutes of studying and deliberating, he retracted the penalty. And this decision was entirely correct: The foul took place outside the penalty box, and thus, only a free kick was awarded, if from quite an advantageous position. However, Leonardo do Nascimento had no problem clearing the ball and the Orange Canaries kept possession until half-time.

The match being 1-0 to Turkestan was humiliating to Nova Holanda, and van Barneveld needed to revise his strategy. The first move to do so, after an inconsequential first few minutes in the second half, was to take off ineffective Paulo Taffarel for Karel Winterink. The substitution was done after the ball landed out. It was a Turkestani who last touched it, so Nova Holanda got a throw-in.
And Romarinho threw the ball to Leonardo do Nascimento, who passed to Snijer, to Cruijf, back to Romarinho, who crossed it - within the penalty area - to Karel Winterink! His header left Pokatilov with no chance! 1-1 Karel Winterink (54')!
The defence of the Golden Eagles was broken. And from this point onwards, Nova Holanda was in control. However, they could not assume total control of the game - on a counterattack, a shot by Orazsahedulı could just be parried over the crossbar by Isac Quaresma da Silva (69')
Nova Holanda, though, no longer could afford to be shocked - and they indeed were not. A bad pass by Erbosınulı gained Leonardo do Nascimento the ball. Over many more passes, mainly in the centre, it ended up on Simon Cruijf's foot in a centre-left position, 21 metres in front of the goal. He dribbled a few metres, just into the penalty area, outwitting Kichin in the process, and finished! Into the centre! Pokatilov should have saved that - a clear mistake on his part! 1-2 Simon Cruijf (72')!

And this match was decided. Nova Holanda resorted to a balanced approach now, keeping the ball to themselves, but also trying offensive play whenever a possibility opens up. And indeed, Romarinho's shot (78') went just wide of the goal, though Pokatilov did not have to intervene. Late in the game, the opportunity presented itself once again after a mistake by Erbosınuli. Wever had the ball, playing it onto Cruijf. The latter was in a position too far left to directly shoot, but he clearly saw Romarinho had run into a much better position just to the right of the goalkeeper, less than seven metres in front of goal.
Simon Cruijf crossed the ball in - but instead of finding Romarinho, the ball was intercepted by Arslanmırat Armaulı. He tried to deflect it, but unfortunately, it found the back of the net instead with a badly aimed, but fast header! Pokatilov had no chance, the first own goal of the tournament was scored! 1-3 Arslanmırat Armaulı (86', own goal)!

The last minutes of the match passed with neither Nova Holanda nor Turkestan trying anything more. Nova Holanda kept the ball to themselves for the most part - but, though the result seems clear, at least for seventy minutes, Turkestan and Nova Holanda were on equal footing...
 
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What a surprise this Belgium-Banat!
I didn't imagine little Banat leading the group after their opening defeat against Viti!
This group is very open, everyone but Patagonia won at least a match.
 
47: Germany 2-Great Lakes 0
Hi rascals! Today begins in style with a Germany-Great Lakes, not stung from the beetles! Let's go?

Germany already won 2-0 against Turkestan, but was forced to a draw by Nova Holandia.

Great Lakes only played against Milan so far, to whom they lost 1-2.

Apparently on the German side, we would start on a 3-4-2-1 with the left piston Grynszpan and the trio NTT-Sójka-Sarr on the front. Why not. Oh, by the way, I’ll be referring to Nguyễn Tất Thành as NTT, like many commenters.

The hell of the North Coasters before taking on the Milanese fury. This is the program for this Germany.

The roster for the United Neutral Team (Germany):

Kocyła

Sulzberger – Hachadi - D'Egidio

Grynszpan – Wolff – Roth - Mohr

Tất Thành – Sójka - Sarr



The roster for the Great Lakes republic (GLR), playing in 4-4-2. They align a mix of players playing at home and in Europe. It is interesting to note that none of GLR’s starting midfielders are natural wingers:

Steffen

Lichaj-Brooks-Ream-Cannon

McKennie-Stanko-Mihailovic-Pineda

Pulisic-Sargent





1’ – Ready? Fire!

4’ - It starts timidly, all that.

9’ - The run of Super Eric Lichaj! Sargent did not conclude, Hachadi was on his side.

12’ - Hop hop hop the mess on the first German corner! Serene Steffen.

14’ – Eric Lichaj warned: Thou shall not pass!

16’ – This boy Mihailovic’s got skills.

17’ – Headshot over the goal for D’Egidio, the tractor of Trento.

18’ - Perfect cover of Cannon in front of Mohr...

18’ - ... Then absolute butcher tackle on this same Mohr. Unless the former Nantes player shouted more than necessary ... A match inside of the match, as they say. Referee says “Keep on playing!”

20’- Oooooooooooooh Cannon’s handplay on the corner .............. VAR?

The man in yellow, by the name of Eric Wattellier, will watch the footage. It's long ... Your opinion on VAR my friends? It's something we haven't talked about much, anyway.

21’ – PENALTY FOR GERMANY!

It’s Grynszpan who will take his chance.

STEFFEN PUSHES IT BACK ON HIS RIGHT! BUT GRYNSZPAN WILL HAVE A SECOND TRY! Well, the goalkeeper was some good 2-3 meters away from his line at the time of the strike. But without Grynszpan’s feint, the keeper was in a lawful position. Boarf.

Yellow card for Zach Steffen in the cacophony.

22’ - It's for Sójka now! What a shame…

GOAAAAAAAL! Germany 1-0 Great Lakes

Sójka doesn’t miss the chance to score his penalty!
He celebrates in front of GLR’s fans and tease them.

The North Coasters are really going mad, and we can understand them.

The referee is having a hard time getting everyone back to play as GLR players are arguing about the fool play they feel they have been cheated with.

Lichaj is very upset. He must remain cool if he wants to avoid getting booked.

24’ – Everyone seems to have cooled down a bit now and the match can resume.

29’ - Pulisic too short on a cross from the left. Let’s get down to work, my North Coaster friends.

32’ – Sójka too shy on the good corner kick by Grynszpan.

33’ - Ouuuuuuutch Grynszpan smashing McKennie's shin guard. This came close to disaster. Yellow card for the German.

35’- WOOW! NTT has just successfully completed a double small bridge! He’s caught back by Hachadi who commits a fool.

36’ – GOAAAAAL!!!!!!!

On the free-kick provoked by NTT, Roth takes a volley from the left foot at the far post!

Amazing goal for Germany!

Germany 2-0 GLR

42’- Steffen on parade on a vicious strike from Grynszpan!! It’s getting unbreathable for the North Coasters.

45’- Referee informs of 3 minutes of extra time, considering all the mess that happened at the time of the penalty.

45+3’- HALF TIME! 2-0 for the United Neutral Team, the Great Lakes Republic better start driving all their anger into some result on the field for the second half.



Eric Lichaj (GLR) on the mic “Inevitably there is a lot of anger, we are always penalized in the same way. Germany anyway, without penalty, it is a very average team so the referees should wake up at some point."



46’ – Ready for the second half!

49’ - A bit of a hurry Steffen, 45 minutes left, take the time you guys need.

53’ – Lichaj’s on fire! Come on!

55’- Germany looks like they’re sinking… Even if now Mohr is saving the corner kick.

58’ - The rocket Grynszpan almost gave another goal to NTT! The run was perfect.

63’ – Sojka dances in the box, but can’t do anything against the comeback of Brooks.

65’ - Cannon rides on the left! But Wolff made the effort.

67’ – Six fouls commited by Germany in the second half, none by GLR.

69’ - Goal denied to Sarr for an NTT offside! The poor man had already started celebrating. But no VAR this time, at least. Very strange by the way, this goal.

71’ - Corner messed up by Pulisic, then a difficult shot from Stanko. “Insert annoyed emoji”.

73’ – Nice shot by NTT after a long rush. Steffen blocks it.

75’ – No one wants to make substitutions in this match? Isn’t there 11 players on the bench waiting to make a difference?

77’ - Sójka had made a superb oriented control but slipped like a dump on his strike. Rah.

79’ – At last, the first substitutions: GLR changes two players. Ethan Finlay, a real winger, enters for McKennie, and the veteran Brian McBride, 47 years old, make his entrance instead of Sargent.

83’- Big fight on the corner, the German defense is doing well, but Sulzberger took a big buffer.

84’ – Substitution for Germany: Tomáš Šindelář enters, NTT gets out.

86’ - This is nonsense, this end of the match. Wolff was knocked out after a shock, and the GLR coach was booked.

88’ – Last substitution for GLR: Gutjahr in, Pineda out.

89’ - Ball stung from McBride to Gutjahr which stung in the 6 meters box. The same as Neymar to Sergi Roberto, an evening in March 2017. Less success.

90+1’ – GLR didn’t place any shot on target.

90+2’ – Substitution for Germany: Sójka out, Berthold Frucht goes in, his last international appearance was on the 8th of April 2018, for a 5-0 win against… Great Lakes Republic!

90+4’ - END! Heavy atmosphere in San Ildefonso, United Neutral Team imposes itself without manner and without having really trembled either. See you next time? Take care of yourself, long live free football!





United Neutral Team 2-0 Great Lakes Republic

(Sójka 22’, Roth 36’)



It’s looking good for Germany which collected 7 points in 3 matches and takes the lead in the group. On the other hand, Great Lakes is clearly in difficulty, collecting no point in their 2 matches so far.


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North Coaster football legend Michael Jackson (here while playing for Provençal team OGC Nice) once said "Football is a simple game. Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win."
 

And here are the standings after the second round of matches. Very proud of my boys performance so far
 
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